Universal looks to be pulling out all the stops when it comes to leverage their classic horror film monsters into a planned interconnected cinematic universe. Earlier this week, we learned that the studio is eyeing Angelina Jolie for a role in their remake of The Bride Of Frankenstein. Now comes word that Tom Cruise is in talks with the studio for the lead role in The Mummy, the film that will launch the franchise.
Variety is reporting that he actor is in negotiations with Universal to headline the film and, considering that this film will be the first of their interconnected cinematic universe, possibly make appearances in future franchise installments.
Universal’s development of their shared monster universe was kicked into high gear last summer when they brought aboard Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan to spearhead the project. Previously, Kurtzman and then-writing/producing partner Roberto Orci were working for the studio on developing both a Mummy film and one that would feature vampire hunter Van Helsing. Cruise was attached at that time to star in the Van Helsing project.
The plan is to take many of the monsters first made famous by the studios monster movies of the 1930s and `40s and set them in a shared world, similar to Marvel Studio’s highly successful cinematic superhero universe. It is an idea the studio had been toying with for the last several years with 2014’s Dracula Untold being considered as a possible starting point. That fell through after that film’s disappointing box office.
Currently The Mummy is scheduled for a March 24, 2017 release. The studio is actively developing a Creature From The Black Lagoon remake with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 writer Jeff Pinker, a Wolf Man film with Prisoners screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski, Van Helsing from writers Jon Spaihts and Eric Heisserer and an undisclosed film from Jay Basu. No dates for these films have been announced, thought he studio has blocked off March 30, 2018 as a release date for one of these.